Published : Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | 12:08 PM
Recognizing that children’s healthy development is largely dependent on having positive experiences in the early years of life, the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) has strengthened the early education choices now available to families with children between the ages of 3 and 5. Choices include preschools, full and half-day programs, transitional and extended transitional kindergarten, Mandarin and Spanish immersion preschool, and before and after-school care. Registration for programs is now open.
“Our approach to early childhood education is a balanced one, developmentally appropriate and based on best practices that reflect our commitment to helping children build strong social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive foundations,” said Julie Reynoso, Assistant Superintendent, Elementary and Early Education. “Our faculty nurtures and challenges young children because we care about what they they think and what they have to say, and we are committed to preparing them to be lifelong learners.”
Preschools use the Creative Curriculum, which emphasizes exploration and discovery as a way of learning, helping children develop confidence, creativity, and critical thinking skills. Each classroom is equipped with technology and materials for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) learning to challenge and engage young learners. Programs are also available for students with disabilities.
Parents and families are encouraged to participate in daily activities and instructional field trips. Operating hours are designed for the convenience of parents; before and after school care is available. Preschool program costs range from free to affordable, depending on the family’s eligibility. Transitional Kindergarten and Extended Transitional Kindergarten are part of the California free K-12 public educational system.
Teachers at PUSD preschools and four children’s centers are trained in child development, classroom management, and positive discipline. Preschool classes have a ratio of 2:1 teacher/staff per child.
Highly qualified teachers in transitional and extended transitional kindergarten programs are credentialed as part of California’s K-12 education requirements. Transitional and Extended Transitional Kindergarten classes have a teacher/student ratio of 24:1
Early Education Programs:
Preschool programs that engage children between 3 and 5 years old as initiators and active participants are offered at a total of 10 PUSD sites. Half-day morning or afternoon sessions operate during the school year. Preschool programs are free for income-eligible families; fees may apply to non-income eligible families. To enroll, contact the Early Childhood Education office at 626.396.5762.
Four Children’s Centers offer full-day preschool year round for children ages 3-5 whose families are working, going to school, seeking employment, or incapacitated. Educational before and after school care is offered at two sites (Jefferson and Longfellow) for children in PreK-5th grade. Children’s Centers operate year round from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The program is free for income-eligible families; fees may apply to non-income eligible families. To enroll, contact the Early Childhood Education office at 626.396.5762
Jefferson Children’s Center
391 N. Sierra Bonita Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Washington Children’s Center
130 Penn St.
Pasadena, CA 91103
Longfellow Children’s Center
1377 N. Mar Vista Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91104
Willard Children’s Center
345 S. Halstead St.
Pasadena, CA 91107
Spanish and Mandarin Immersion Preschool
Designed to prepare 3-5 year-old children for Pasadena Unified’s dual language immersion programs, preschool immersion instruction is wholly in Spanish or Mandarin so that students build a strong linguistic foundation. Educational assistants help clarify concepts in English.
Spanish Dual Immersion Preschool is offered in half-day sessions at San Rafael Elementary, Jackson STEAM Magnet, and Jefferson Elementary. Mandarin Dual Immersion Preschool is offered in half and full-day sessions at Field Elementary. Fees apply for these programs. To register, contact the Early Childhood Education office at 626.396.5762.
Specially designed for children with fall birthdays after the kindergarten enrollment cut-off date, transitional kindergarten is the first of a two-year kindergarten program that bridges preschool and traditional kindergarten. Part of California’s public K-12 educational system, Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is taught by fully-credentialed teachers and operates during the school year. Children who turn 5 years old between September 2 and December 2 and who may benefit from an enriched foundational early childhood education are eligible. TK is a free full-day program offered at seven campuses during the school year. To enroll, visit your school of residence. You will be directed to the site that hosts TK in your neighborhood.
• Franklin Elementary
• Longfellow Elementary
• Madison Elementary
• McKinley School
• Norma Coombs Elementary
• Willard Elementary
Extended Transitional Kindergarten
Extended Transitional Kindergarten (ETK) is the first of a two-year kindergarten program for children who turn five years old between December 2 and March 31 and who may benefit from an enriched foundational early childhood education. Part of California’s public K-12 educational system, ETK is taught by fully-credentialed teachers. The full-day free program is offered at two campuses during the school year. To enroll, visit the PUSD Office of Enrollment, 351 S. Hudson Ave., Room 210, Pasadena. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis.
• Cleveland Elementary
• McKinley School
Both Transitional and Extended Transitional Kindergarten students attend the assigned school for one year; after that, they go to Kindergarten at their school of residence or apply through PUSD Open Enrollment.
Pasadena Unified School District, 351 S. Hudson Ave Pasadena, (626) 396-3600 or visit www.pusd.us.